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“Roots rip-off - choose your boat carefully!”
Review of Jufureh

Reviewed May 31, 2012

We did the almost mandatory Roots tour with the Gambia Tours company - and wasted 75 EUR!

The boat leaving Banjul harbour was in a state of shock; it had definitely not passed a security check in the last decades, and the rescue boat was filled with water and half rotten. The trip lasts app. 2 hours before you arrive at the village from where Kunta Kinte from the famous Alex Haley Roots novel came. This obviously is very hard to prove, but has become the reason for bringing people from all over the world here - some on an almost religious pilgrimage. I hope they do not feel cheated!

When entering the village there is a long speech by a local guide - and then on to the small museum, and then visiting the descendants of Kunta Kinte - but again I am not convinced this is very scientific!

You are at all times surrounded by the village guides and local police preventing all interaction with the locals, which is very annoying. Ironically we decided to go back to the boat before the rest, and was immediately covered by guides and police where as an Afro-American couple could walk alone - why this difference????

At the end we were heavily begged for more money for the guides despite having paid the whole excursion at a good price. A very indecent touch!

The boat experience and the whole troop around us definitely spoiled the overall experience - it would have been nice just visiting at our own pace. And then you wonder why they do not sell the novel at the local museum, when this is what their whole existence is based upon? Bet they could have sold a whole lot there! Shame!

6  Thank PernilleI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 21 of 30 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2012

I've just returned to New York from a family trip to the Gambia. During the trip, we had the opportunity to visit Jufureh & James Island. Lamin Jallow (Gboy) was our assigned tour guide and he escorted us from Banjul through to James Island. Lamin was the consummate professional. He went above and beyond to ensure we saw and learned everything we came for. From carrying our bags, to bargaining for us to getting us safe seats on the ferry and much more, Lamin showed us that he really cared about us having a great experience. Not only did Lamin go above and beyond for me and my family, he also showed us that it's in his personality to help people. At one point he jumped out of our jeep to assist some people who were struggling with a heavy load. Whilst on the ferry back to Banjul, a woman fainted and he was the first one to jump up to assist her. So, rest assured that if Lamin is your tour guide, you will be in good hands and he will do whatever it takes to make your trip enjoyable.

2  Thank WorldTraveler0429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2010

Like the other report stated, dont trust the guides at this place, when you enter the village you are told not to give the children sweets etc but to leave them in a large box outside the building nearest to the jetty on your exit. They say they will distribute them equally to the children..........THEY DONT GIVE THEM TO THE KIDS BUT SELL THEM TO THE NEXT BATCH OF TOURISTS WHO ARRIVE THERE ! ! !.
We even saw one guide pickup a large stick and chase the children away....they ran for there lifes so i dont think this was the first time this has happened and who sees what happens when you leave.........
My advice is...GIVE THE SWEETS DIRECT TO THE CHILDREN..... THEY ARE A GIFT FROM YOU TO THEM AND NOT THE RIPP OFF GUIDES WHO RESEMPLE AN AFRICAN MAFIA....... you see how appreciative the children are when you give them sweets...
Not the best of tours but worth seeing........Give the sweets but keep your money, bargains are to be had elsewhere..........

5  Thank wallsy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2008

Whilst the other reviewers are correct in their comments about the village of Jufureh they failes to report that it is one of the few places where you can get a boat out to James Island and its fort.

The trip is usually in a small fishing boat called a paroque which at times seems quite unstable particularly when the wind is whipping up the waves on the river. From the jetty at Jufureh you sail out through the rows of fishing nets left by the local fishermen it takes about 15 minutes and you get a good view of the natural banks of the river.

James Island is shrinking in size having lost almost 30% in the last 20 years due to a rise in the river level. The information available on the island is very basic but the atmosphere and the ttrees do make quite an impression.

A trip is well worth the journey to Jufureh.

3  Thank ChrisHinchliff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 23, 2007

We went to this village with a local guide who we met. We were asked by a couple of kids for money and they laughed when we asked them for money back!

The slavery museum here is excellent. The history is very concise and cannot be faulted really. I would say that the museum is the highlight of the trip and really should be promoted.

4  Thank HeidiHoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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